Friday, October 30, 2015

Assaults on police officers are down sharply

The FBI recently released its data on assaults on police officers in 2014, reported the Washington Post.
The good news is that reported assaults are down sharply. Unarmed and assaults with guns both dropped, while assaults with knives and edged weapons went up slightly. But overall, as this chart tweeted by University of South Carolina law professor Seth Stoughton shows, assaults on cops are at their lowest point since 1996 and have been dropping consistently since 2008.
This is just the latest piece of data to undermine the whole “war on cops” narrative. When you counter the war rhetoric by pointing out that killings of police officers are also in decline, and that this year is on pace to be the second safest on record, law-and-order types argue that the drop in fatalities is just due to better body armor, weapons and the willingness of cops to use lethal force.
But if assaults are in decline as well, it isn’t just about body armor. It means that people aren’t trying to attack the police nearly as often. And that’s a pretty hard phenomenon to square with any perceived “war on cops.”
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